Body out­side burned house

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page - By JES­SICA JOHN­STON

A MAN’S body was found o u t s i d e t h e charred re­mains of his Mag­netic Is­land house on Christ­mas night.

The 48-year-old man was found dead af­ter f i r e f i g h t e r s e x - tin­guished a blaze that b r o k e o u t i n h i s Man­dalay Ave home on Mon­day.

The tightknit is­land com­mu­nity yes­ter­day was strug­gling to deal with the shock dis­cov­ery.

Mag­netic I s l a n d po­lice Se­nior Con­sta­ble Bren­dan Nu­gent said the man’s death was not be­ing treated as sus­pi­cious.

He said po­lice were called to the Nelly Bay home af­ter a fire broke out about 10pm.

He said neigh­bours had tried des­per­ately to put out the fire be­fore emer­gency ser­vices ar­rived.

‘ ‘ A n u m b e r o f neigh­bours or res­i­dents f r o m s u r r o u n d i n g streets be­came aware of the fire and at­tempted to put it out be­fore emer­gency ser­vices ar­rived,’’ Sen-Con­sta­ble Nu­gent said.

‘‘A num­ber of peo­ple had ob­served the body of a male per­son at the rear of the premises.

‘‘A sub­se­quent search lo­cated a man’s body out­side.

‘‘In­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing into the cause, how­ever at this stage there does not ap­pear to be any sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing his death.’’

S e n - C o n s t a b l e Nu­gent said the man was liv­ing there alone at the time of the fire.

It was un­der­stood the man’s wife and daugh­ter had re­cently moved out, while he stayed on to put fin­ish­ing touches to the house, which was on the mar­ket.

The lowset wooden house was gut­ted in the fire.

S e n - C o n s t a b l e Nu­gent con­firmed the man had lived on the is­land for sev­eral years and was well known in the com­mu­nity.

His name had not been re­leased yes­ter­day, as his fam­ily was con­tact­ing other rel­a­tives.

Fire in­ves­ti­ga­tors and scenes of crime of­fi­cers hunted for clues at the scene yes­ter­day.

But Sen-Con­sta­ble Nu­gent said it was too early to say how, or where the fire started.

‘‘All fires are treated as sus­pi­cious un­til we find a cause.’’ he said.

S e n - C o n s t a b l e Nu­gent said the cause of death had not been de­ter­mined yes­ter­day, but po­lice were not treat­ing it as sus­pi­cious.

A Queens­land Po­lice spokesman con­firmed the man had not been in­jured in the fire, but ap­peared to have died of other in­juries.

S e n - C o n s t a b l e Nu­gent said the cause of death would be­come clear when a p o s t mortem ex­am­i­na­tion was con­ducted later this week.

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